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US lumber prices soften in seasonal slowdown
U.S. lumber prices softened in mid-September on a seasonal lull in construction industry orders during another year in which hopes for strong gains in housing starts were disappointed, industry experts said.
The framing lumber composite price, an industry benchmark published by Random Lengths, a provider of lumber industry data, edged down to $388 per thousand board feet by Sept. 23, from $399 a week earlier.
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Biomass could be 60 percent of world's renewable energy
Biomass could make up 60 percent of the world’s renewable energy sources – one-fifth of the globe’s total energy supply – by the year 2030. That’s according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency, which forecasts a major role for modern, sustainable biomass technologies in the report titled, “Global Bioenergy Supply and Demand Projections for the Year 2030.”
In Alaska's Tongass, a battle to keep trees, or an industry, standing
The Tongass National Forest, a panoply of snow-dusted peaks and braided rivers, slender fjords and more than 5,000 islands draped over a stretch of Pacific coastline, is widely viewed as one of America’s great natural treasures. Under pressure from environmentalists, the Obama administration pledged four years ago to phase out logging of virgin woodlands here.
Plant variants point the way to improved biofuel production
University of York via Ethanol Producer Magazine
Manufacturing biofuels from food crop by-products such as straw could be made quicker and cheaper thanks to the work of scientists in the U.K. and France.
Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have discovered variant straw plants whose cell walls are more easily broken down to make biofuels, but which are not significantly smaller or weaker than regular plants.
University of Alabama researchers develop novel method for making electrical cellulose fibers
By using liquid salts during formation instead of harsh chemicals, fibers that conduct electricity can be strengthened, according to a patent issued to a team of researchers at The University of Alabama.
The new method of crafting the fibers could open up normally flimsy materials, such as cotton, to conduct electricity in technologies normally reserved for stronger fibers.
Wisconsin DNR reports $11.7 million in timber sales
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
The state Department of Natural Resources says Wisconsin saw record timber sales from state lands during the last fiscal year.
DNR Chief Forester Paul DeLong says timber sales totaled $11.71 million during the year that ended June 30. That's up from $10.8 million during fiscal year 2013.
USDA invests $20 million to hire 11,000 youth and veterans on US Forest Service lands
Sierra Sun Times
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Sept. 27, that in fiscal year 2014, the U.S. Forest Service invested a total of $20 million in partnerships that supported work and training opportunities for 11,000 youth and veterans on national forests and grasslands. Service members worked on projects that addressed restoration, hazardous fuels, watershed protection, wilderness stewardship, recreation access, facilities management, trail maintenance and other natural and cultural resource priorities.
Southwest to fly with forest waste biofuel
As early as 2016, biofuel made from forest waste might propel passengers on some Southwest Airlines flights.
The airline’s recent agreement with Colorado’s Red Rock Biofuels will have a double benefit: the low-carbon renewable jet fuel — made using forest residues or remnants — will help reduce the risk of destructive wildfires in the Western U.S.
'Fungi cocktail' turns winery waste into biofuels
Winery waste could be converted into compounds with a value as biofuels or medicines, according to Australian researchers. Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne have developed a technique for converting woody material into simpler compounds. This could be then used to create ethanol or other biofuels.
A mandate for higher prices
U.S. News & World Report
Any day now, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce final volumes of biofuels required to be blended with U.S. gasoline and diesel this calendar year. By law, EPA is required to announce Renewable Fuel Standard volumes by Nov. 30, for the upcoming year. It missed this deadline last year, meaning the agency is already way behind schedule to finalize the amount of biofuels to be blended in 2014.
Identification of redox-sensitive enzymes can enrich biofuel production research
Using a chemical biology approach, scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory identified more than 300 proteins in a bacterium adept at converting carbon dioxide into other molecules of interest to energy researchers. These proteins are involved in generating macromolecule synthesis and carbon flux through central metabolic pathways and may also be involved in cell signaling and response mechanisms.
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